Friday, April 08, 2011

Here's what I did today

First I woke up and got dressed and did all the regular stuff you do when you wake up.

I went to a copy store to get some large papers scanned into jpegs. A friend of mine works there and we talked for awhile about his new baby. He took the papers and said they would be scanned in by Monday; I could come by whenever and pick them up.

I had noticed a new Mexican restaurant next door to the copy store and wanted to try it out, but there was a line out front. I could not tell if the line was to get into the restaurant or if it was people waiting for cars they valet parked, but upon realizing the restaurant had valet parking I decided against eating there.

I went to another Mexican restaurant I have frequented for years and ordered so much food. I read free newspapers and ate. I sent a message to Twitter about how restaurants in that particular neighborhood should not be allowed to have valet parking during the daytime. I considered writing about how the restaurant was a VHS rental place like a year ago, and who are they to be all fancy, but I decided the original, briefer message was funnier and anyway I was going over the character limit.

I went to the college radio station where I DJ and I DJed for an hour. Before and afterwards I went to the campus bar and drank some beer. The show went well and I played several songs I really enjoy. Afterwards, while at the bar, I got a text message from an old friend saying there was "free booze!" at our high school, and some other old friends are there, and I should come by. This weekend is my ten year high school reunion, and there are a bunch of homecoming-type events going on.

I decided that would be fun so I drove to my old high school. On my way I passed another high school, which was hosting some sort of livestock exhibition. There was a big metal structure out front with a bunch of goats in pens, and hay everywhere. I leaned out my window and made two loud goat noises at the goats. I am really good at making really loud goat noises, it's just kind of one of those things. It was really fun. Some of the goats looked up at me as I drove off.

I showed up at my high school and was stopped at the front entrance by an off-duty police officer hired to do security. He asked me if I was here for the play or the alumni event. I told him I was here for the alumni event. He told me to drive straight and I did. I had not been back to my high school more than once or twice since I graduated.

I saw a big outdoor tent set up and people dressed up for a cocktail party. There was valet parking. I asked if I could park my own car and they said it was okay. The event was much more formal than I had anticipated. It is a private school and this was the sort of thing where they try to get alumni to donate money. I think. I don't know. I don't know what it was but it was not what I am used to doing on Friday evenings and I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt with a rabbit on it and I didn't see anyone I knew.

I walked past everyone around the corner of a building to call my old friend and ask him if he was here or if he had tricked me or what. He didn't pick up so I called him again. Two off-duty police officers hired as security guards came around and asked me what I was doing there. I explained that I was an alumni and here for the alumni event, but realized as I was speaking that I did not know anything about the event I was supposed to be attending. They told me I did not look like I was supposed to be there. I told them I did not know it was going to be so dressy.

The whole time this was happening I was half-laughing because I was trying to figure out the best way to articulate the obvious metaphor to the off-duty police officers. Luckily the group of people I was there to see saw me and everything was kosher. I ended up telling the police officers that I went to the school for seven years and was used to this sort of thing, which wasn't the best thing I could have said but I hope they got the gist - not so much the fact that it was cops, just the general scenario. Anyway they were ultimately very friendly. I walked back to where the big tent was and avoided eye contact with everybody I didn't know. I continued to be dressed the way I was.

I said hi to some people who used to be teenagers with me. Some work at oil companies, one is a lawyer, I think one works at Microsoft. I told people what I do. I made light and pleasant conversation with a half a dozen people. I saw lots of people who did not graduate the same year as I did, talking to each other. There was an open bar and there was lots of food. I had a Bud Light and tried to stay out of the way. I felt very underdressed and out of my element, but in a fun, enjoyable way. Standing outside in the courtyard, looking at the buildings and the trees, I barely recognized the school at all.

I talked to best friend in sixth grade. He was the first friend I made at that school. We were both really into comic books and alternative rock. He's a teacher there now. We had not spoken in years; he says he does not really keep up with our classmates, but he thinks about the old days all the time. I don't know how you wouldn't. We caught up for awhile. It was good to see him.

I asked if he was going to go to our real reunion tomorrow, the ten year thing for our grade. He said he wasn't sure but didn't think so. He is married now with two kids, one pretty much a newborn, so that's what he does now. He was also put off by the fact that they rented out a restaurant patio and they are charging fifty dollars a person. I was put off by that too. He said we should've just bought some kegs and had the party at the school. I thought that sounded really fun. Maybe the cafeteria or something.

I told him that if the school ever needed an alumni guest speaker for chapel he should call me. He said something positive but noncommittal, which was a good way to respond. We laughed about the thing with the police. I told him I wished I'd thought to dress up a little more but was still glad things happened the way they did because now I have that story forever.

I said goodbye to my friend who works for our school and drove home.

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